CANADA—A commercial that once inspired audiences to say awwwwww is now inciting annoyance and anger in viewers.
“When I first saw that ad where the woman gives her sick child a soccer ball and the kid feels she’s just like her classmates, it made me tear up,” said student Jamal Lewis. “Now it comes on every five minutes and I feel manipulated.”
The spot is a promotion for No-Holds-Barred, a non-profit that enables sick or injured children to participate in sports. After an intensive broadcast run, the charity began receiving negative feedback on their website. “How can I forget about my shitty life and enjoy watching my programs when I’m made to feel guilty every commercial break?” said Lolo1666. “The kid got to play. We get it. Move on,” said JazzHands.
Marketing and fund-raising consultant Jeremy Brown explained the fine line businesses must walk with emotional advertising. “When a company is able to tap into a viewer’s emotions, they can really cash out. But if they run the ad too much or too long, they’re actually at risk for diminished returns.”
At press time, No-Holds-Barred was developing their next campaign Marco’s Water Polo. The ad will feature a blind water polo player, and blindfolded sighted players. “Great,” said Lewis. “Can’t wait to see it run ad nauseam.”